Le Mars Daily Sentinel, May 28, 1969

Solemn Flag Rites Set Memorial Day

The Memorial day parade starts at 10:00 Friday at city hall on Central Ave. north.

It will move from there south on Central Ave. to Third St. (past the library), then north on Fourth Ave. to the court house.

Marching elements will assemble on Second St. NE and NW Central Ave.

Dedication of flags displayed in impressive Avenue of Flags ceremonies at the court house lawn will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Parade marshal will be Frank Scholer, former longtime Plymouth county sheriff.

Taking part in the parade will be Wasmer post Drum and Bugle corps, marching Legionnaires of Wasmer post VFW; Legionnaires in autos, mayor and speaker.

City officials, municipal band, naval reserve, women’s auxiliaries, girl scouts, boy scouts, cub scouts, Le Mars fire department and citizens in autos.

At 6 a.m. decoration of veterans’ graves will take place by members of Wasmer post.  From 8 to 9:30 a.m. there will be decoration of graves by citizens.

At the 10:30 a.m. ceremony on the court house lawn during the Avenue of Flags ceremonies  will open with the lighting of the eternal flame by Lavern Schleis.

Invocation will be asked by Rev. Anthony Pick.  The wreath presentation will be made by veterans of four wars, with George Schnepf, World War I; John Kilpatrick, World War II, Dick Hoss, Korean war, and Lawrence Rolfes, Vietnam war.

Address will be by Rev. James Ransom and selections will be played by the Le Mars Municipal band.  Rev. Ransom is pastor of Le Mars First United Presbyterian church.

Following posting of flags, firing squad and taps will be heard.

During the evening, the Municipal band concert will begin at 6:30 on the court house lawn by the city band under the direction of Phil Hauan.  Retiring of the flags will be by the boy and girl scouts and Legionnaires.

In case of rain, Memorial day services will be held in Carey gym and flags will be displayed in the afternoon or the following Sunday, weather permitting.

LeMars Sentinel, June 2, 1969

Dedicate 34 New Flags in Memory of Dead Servicemen; Display 253

Le Mars Wasmer post of the American Legion assisted by boy scouts displayed 253 burial flags of dead servicemen in 14 avenues on the Plymouth county court house lawn Memorial day.

The avenue of red and white stripes and blue with stars cover the north , west and part of the south lawns.

Past Wasmer post commander Fred Riter reported the crowd was the largest in the four years since he spearheaded the Avenue of Flags in 1965 in Le Mars.

The display has been held five years with dedication ceremonies held four years.  When the morning service was rained out in 1967, flags were posted that afternoon.

Cars last Friday were parked for blocks around the court house and the grass avenues between the flags were filled with adults and many, many children.

Thirty four new flags were dedicated this year.  And for the second year in a row without Le Mars Co. A. of the Iowa National Guard, this year stationed in Vietnam and Fort Carson, Colo.  Le Mars boy scouts carried the flags to be dedicated down the avenues in front of the court house.

As each scout brought a flag forward, Mr. Riter read the name.  Flags dedicated in previous ceremonies had been posted earlier in the morning.

Last flag dedicated was the burial flag of Lt. Corbin Tindall, 26, Akron, killed April 12 in combat in Vietnam.  He was a former Co. A. commander.

It was an emotional moment when Mr. Riter announced Rick Freese, young son of Sgt. and Mrs. Ken Freese, would carry the burial flag at the request of Mrs. Corbin Tindall.

Rick’s father, longtime full time staff member at the Koenig armory is serving in Vietnam.

Just before Lt. Tindall’s flag was dedicated came the dedication of a burial flag for D.C. Lenihan, the only Spanish American war veteran in Le Mars.  Mr. Lenihan died at the age of 90 Sunday, May 25.

Since the first Avenue of Flags, Mr. Lenihan had represented the Spanish American war Veterans Assn. in the wreath presentation by war veterans.

The other new flags to be dedicated were those of George H. Ansdall, Lloyd P. Bock, John Raymond Bruscher, Michael Benedict Buckley.

Louis Burkhard, Thomas F. Coffey, Frank Condon, Linus Connor, Henry Dambrink, Clarence Dominick. Marion Clement Feeney.

Claus H. Haack, J. Vincent Harker, Arthur E. Higgenbotham, Reinhard Hillrichs, Leo Hughes, Carl Kammerer, Peter Kellen, Mortiz Kunath.

Henry Larsen, Albert F. Lingle, William Long, Francis P. McCarthy, Fremont Muecke, Eugene Nuebel, Herman Henry Osterbuhr.

Laurel Paulin, Albert Peterson, Gordon Donald Phipps, John Pitts, John N. Plueger and Charles Plummer.

The 10:30 a.m. ceremony under sunny skies began after a parade of marching units and cars which formed at the city hall corner.

Main address was given by Rev. James Ransom, pastor of the Presbyterian United Church of Christ.  See full text page 2.

Rev. Anthony Pick asked the invocation and the eternal flame was ignited by Legionnaire Lavern Schleis.

The wreath presentation was made by veterans of four wars.  George Schneft, world war 1; John Kilpatrick, world war 2; Dick Hoss, Korean war, and Lawrence Rolfes, Vietnam war.

Following the address, taps were sounded and the Wasmer post firing squad saluted the war dead.  The Le Mars Municipal band under the direction of Phil Hauan played as the flag was raised from half staff to the top of the pole on the court house lawn.

The flags were retired in the evening during a 6:30 band concert which drew another large crowd, some of whom brought their own lawn chairs.

Boy scouts assisted by girl scouts rolled up the flags under the direction of Legionnaires.

This year the Avenue of Flags will be repeated for the first time July 4 as a highlight of the Le Mars centennial celebration.  The dedication is scheduled for 9 a.m. for Plymouth county folks and the hundreds of visitors who are expected during Le Mars’ 100th birthday celebration.

~The above two news articles were researched, transcribed and submitted by Mary Holub, LeMars, Iowa

"William Galbraith was the speaker at the 4th of July Avenue of Flags. Galbraith said the hundreds present should think of the real meaning: F - Freedom; L - Love (of country); A - Armor; G - Glory. --1969 Centennial Celebration, LeMars, Iowa

~Transcriber Note for Clarification: The Avenue of Flags Ceremony was repeated July 4, 1969, in honor of the Centennial Celebration.




~If you have any other 1969 year photos or stories, please share by emailing the county coordinator.